Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused it

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Macmillan, 1999 - Medical - 330 pages
10 Reviews
The fascinating, true story of the world's deadliest disease.

In 1918, the Great Flu Epidemic felled the young and healthy virtually overnight. An estimated forty million people died as the epidemic raged. Children were left orphaned and families were devastated. As many American soldiers were killed by the 1918 flu as were killed in battle during World War I. And no area of the globe was safe. Eskimos living in remote outposts in the frozen tundra were sickened and killed by the flu in such numbers that entire villages were wiped out.

Scientists have recently rediscovered shards of the flu virus frozen in Alaska and preserved in scraps of tissue in a government warehouse. Gina Kolata, an acclaimed reporter for The New York Times, unravels the mystery of this lethal virus with the high drama of a great adventure story. Delving into the history of the flu and previous epidemics, detailing the science and the latest understanding of this mortal disease, Kolata addresses the prospects for a great epidemic recurring, and, most important, what can be done to prevent it.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pennsylady - LibraryThing

It was nice to find scientific writing come through with a taste of a great adventure. It might be a bit tedious if you don't like the meticulous series of success and failures that accompany ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Pat_F. - LibraryThing

Beautifully research, well-told story of the first 20th-century "plague." It has happened before, and it will happen again. In a war between us and the buggies, they can adapt faster than we can react. Read full review

Contents

1 The Plague Year
3
2 A History of Disease and Death
35
3 From Sailors to Swine
55
4 A Swedish Adventurer
85
5 Swine Flu
121
6 A Litigation Nightmare
151
7 John Daltons Eyeballs
187
8 An Incident in Hong Kong
219
9 From Alaska to Norway
243
10 Mysteries and Hypotheses
281
Acknowledgments
307
Notes
309
Index
321
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About the author (1999)

Gina Kolata is a science reporter for The New York Times and the author of Clone: The Road to Dolly and Sex in America. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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